Tracking fire doors: Why it’s necessary and how to do it well
Fire doors that are installed and used correctly save lives. In the event of a fire, fire doors delay the spread of fire and smoke within a building. Fire doors compartmentalise buildings, but they also have a second role, offering a means of escape.
Every day, we enter office buildings, attend meetings in large innovation spaces, visit shopping malls and undertake leisure activities. We continue with our day-to-day lives, assuming that our safety is never out at undue risk. When was the last time you entered a building and made a note of your escape route? Did you notice the fire doors you walked past on your way into the office today? Were they all in good working condition?
How would you know, right? Every day, we make assumptions those responsible are undertaking their duties with care and due diligence. Let’s take a look at the significance of fire doors, how to maintain them correctly and a way for you to check fire door maintenance records within your building.
What is a fire door?
Just so we’re all on the same page, a fire door is different to a standard door in that it has a fire-resistance rating and is built to delay the spread of smoke and fire between separate compartments of a building. When we refer to a fire door, this includes not only the door (or leaf) itself but also to the doorframe, seals, glazing, hinges, any hold-open device and any other hardware. If smoke and fire are unable to spread, there is an increased likelihood that inhabitants of the building can escape to safety.
Why are fire doors so important?
Correctly installed and maintained fire doors (and all of the components they include) delay the spread of fire and smoke, but for how long? This varies depending on the type of fire door installed. The main categories of fire door are FD30 and FD60. The ’30’ and ’60’ in these ratings refer to minutes and signify the minimum amount of time that the fire door can delay the spread of the fire.
So, why are these doors so important? If the spread of fire is delayed, critical time is given to people within or close to the burning building. This time for escape saves lives, every single day.
How often do I need to maintain fire doors?
Installing fire doors is only the first step. As with any asset, the condition must be monitored and kept to a certain standard for the asset to remain in good working order. This means that fire doors must regularly be inspected and maintained. Otherwise, they will not be able to save lives.
According to the British Standards Institution (BSI) BS9999, six-monthly inspections are recommended. However, it is vital to remember that the responsible persons within each building are responsible for ensuring adequate inspection and maintenance procedures are in place. In other words, you must ensure that your fire doors are always in good condition and that any faults are dealt with as a matter of extreme urgency.
What information do I need to know about my fire doors?
Each party that interacts with fire doors has a responsibility to ensure that the required knowledge is passed on to responsible parties to ensure the safety of a building and its tenants are not compromised.
When a building is built or modified, if you’re the facilities manager, you need to know the location of your fire doors. To make your life much easier, you must also gather information on the door manufacturer, the door’s components specifications, including hinges, doorframe, etc. as well as details of replacement parts and the installation date of each door.
If you’re the contractor that is responsible for installing, updating or repairing fire doors, you must pass over all required information of specifications and installation dates. You should be using asset tracking software in order to achieve this.
What asset tracking system can I use to manage fire doors?
An ideal way to manage your fire doors is to use a piece of asset tracking software. Using an asset tracking tool, you can not only keep a record of each fire door that is installed, but you can also add information about the manufacturer, installation date and the next inspection due date.
If you choose the right asset tracking system, you will also be able to associate a fire door’s components, with the door itself, e.g. you can add child items such as the doorframe, hinges, handles, etc. to the parent item which is the door. That way, you always have all of the information you may need in one safe place that your whole team can access.
How can I manage fire door maintenance?
Keeping track of fire door maintenance dates and schedules is easy using asset tracking software. Simply add in the customisable inspection and maintenance due dates for each door. Then, run reports to see which doors require inspection in, e.g. the next week or month.
Asset tracking will help to ensure your fire doors are kept in safe working condition. So, in the worst-case scenario, they are able to perform to their best and potentially save lives.
If you’re looking for an asset tracking solution, whether you’re a fire door installation company or a facilities manager with the ongoing responsibility to ensure fire doors are fit for purpose, start your free trial of the itemit asset tracking software today and experience an easier way to manage fire assets.
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